Amey PLC United Kingdom 03/10/2018 12:55:50

Let’s stop losing intelligent, competent, multitasking women

Returning parents are loyal to flexible positions that provide a workable solution to balance the logistics of work, home and school commitments. And what can businesses expect? Loyalty and longevity.

An honest reflection

The industry continues to lose women in their 30s and 40s as they become bored and stagnate in positions where they are overlooked due to supposedly full time requirements of subsequent roles. As an industry, we cannot afford to keep losing this resource and we need to recognise the long-term potential of our 20 and 30 something women rather than focussing on the logistical difficulties a period of theoretical maternity leave may cause.

Why do I have so many conversations with women in their 40s who are looking to leave the industry?

They are bored. They have been doing the same role since before they first had children without the prospect of promotion. They are told they can’t apply for that next role because it is not a ‘part-time’ role.

These are intelligent, competent, multitasking women who can successfully apply their skillset to anything and who’s children will be in senior school soon enough, giving them more freedom to work longer hours and move out of the industry where they have been left stagnating for the past 10 years.

As parents, we strive every hour of the day to be the best engineer / chef / housekeeper / mum / dad we can be. Therefore, we compartmentalise our lives to achieve ultimate efficiency in each area. We may not be in the office full time, but the business benefits of our knowledge and experience are available and with advancing technology, we impart that knowledge as and when it is required.

Balancing the logistics of life

Workplace location and its proximity to home or school is key to achieving a sustainable life balance as the logistics of life become ever more complicated. Working smart and accessing work via the best technology, can assist in attaining life balance. This type of work relationship is most likely to be available in a team where your strengths and commitment are already well known.

Therefore, once a sustainable working arrangement is realised, working mums are less likely to jump ship, assuming they are unlikely to easily achieve the same balance elsewhere and not wishing to rock the finely balanced boat.

Embracing flexibility

So what should our industry be doing?

  • We must recognise and harness the long-term potential of women in their 30s and anticipate the business benefits this will bring, in the knowledge they are likely to still be with our business as they enter their 40s and 50s.
  • Utilise these valuable assets - we must nurture all of our employees and keep them interested and involved in the business.
  • We must embrace flexible working practices to ensure we get the best from our employees
  • We must encourage continued learning and professional development for all employees, via interesting and varied workloads, interaction across the business and between the various disciplines. Allowing staff to enhance their knowledge base and share best practices.

In this way, we also enhance the diversity of thought within our teams, enabling the provision of diverse and inclusive solutions for our customers, to ultimately create better places to live, work and travel.

 

If this sounds like the type of organisation you would like to work for, then take a look at how you can grow your career at Amey Consulting.

Topics: Future of Infrastructure Driving and supporting change Diversity and Inclusion